Ipl 2018 news :Royal Challengers Bangalore Sarfaraz Khan Leaner, fitter, Sharing a dressing room with virat Kohli has been an education
When it was announced in January that Royal Challengers Bangalore had retained ahead 20-year-old Sarfaraz Khan was among the three players had retained ahead of the IPL 2018, was one of surprise. A promising if not spectacular debut season in 2015 had been followed by an unremarkable campaign, when he was dropped after five games for his fielding and a lack of fitness. Sarfaraz had then missed the whole of the 2017 IPL with injury. So his retention, for ₹1.75 crore, was not widely expected.
Sarfaraz khan in his interviews say did not expect it himself. “I didn’t think I was going to be retained,” he says. “But when I got a call from royal challenger banglore them, I obviously said yes. Playing under indian captain Virat (Kohli) bhai is something else.”
we should remember that Sarfaraz khan is only 20 for he has been in the public eye for so long now. Ever since he scored 439 to break the schoolboy record in Mumbai’s Harris Shield tournament as a 12-year-old, Sarfaraz and his father-coach Naushad Khan have been seen and heard from. At 16, Sarfaraz turned out for India in the U-19 World Cup, where he made a definite impact. A year later, he was in the IPL – the youngest to feature in the competition, catching the eye with an unorthodox, unfettered 45 against Rajasthan Royals at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. In 2016, he was the second-highest run-scorer at the U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh.
“I wasn’t nervous playing in the IPL at 17,” he says. “It helped that my father was a cricket coach himself, and had nurtured a couple of IPL players in Kamran Khan and Iqbal Abdullah. So from a young age, I’d been playing IPL bowlers. And at RCB nobody tries to change your game or your technique.”
I wasn’t nervous playing in the IPL at 17,” he says. “It helped that my father was a cricket coach himself, and had nurtured a couple of IPL players in Kamran Khan and Iqbal Abdullah. So from a young age, I’d been playing IPL bowlers. And at RCB nobody tries to change your game or your technique.”In his shot-making, Sarfaraz is perhaps closer to Bangalore’s other superstar, AB de Villiers, because of the way he tries to manipulate the field. “It was so many years before the IPL and my father used to play the scoop shot,” he recalls. “Today, we crouch and scoop but my father would scoop fast bowlers standing. Watching him, I got the guts to play the shot. A lot of players say, ‘Don’t play such shots. What if you hurt yourself?’ It’s a risky shot. If you are struck on the head, you may even die. But everyone does what he’s confident about. Watching my father gave me confidence.
“Each person’s strength is different. I play cheeky shots more. Sometimes I use power. Because when I go in to bat, around the 16th over, it’s not easy. That’s the hardest part, between the 15th and the 20th over. The good thing about RCB is they don’t tell you how to play. They just say how much you have to score and which bowler you can attack and how many you should be scoring off a particular bowler. They don’t tell you what shot to play… and if Virat bhai or AB is at the other end, you have to give them the strike.”
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Sharing a dressing room with Kohli has been an education. “Virat bhai tho alag hee level ke hain,” he smiles. “His time-table is completely different from that of us normal players – his gym-work, his diet, his batting, everything. Virat bhai has so many commitments: so many ads to shoot, so much to sign. On top of that, the tension of captaining the side, picking the team. But there is never a dip in his performance. So how strong must he be mentally?”
When he tore the ACL in his knee last year, Sarfaraz feared that RCB may cut him loose, but the franchise didn’t, instead taking care of his medical expenses and his post-surgery rehabilitation. Kohli even sent him a text message, asking him to use the opportunity to understand himself better. Sarfaraz is grateful. He feels no pressure that the team chose to retain him over other players. “Everyone has something expected of him by someone,” he says. “Virat bhai is under way more pressure than me. The more you think, the greater the tension. So I choose not to think.”